House sends contracting innovation bill to president’s desk for signing
The House passed a Senate bill that would require the Office of Management and Budget and agencies’ acquisition officials to share contracting innovations, sending it to the White House for the president’s signature.
The Promoting Rigorous and Innovative Cost Efficiencies for Federal Procurement and Acquisitions (PRICE) Act aims to increase small business participation in contracting by encouraging agencies to adopt new practices, modernize procedures and report cost savings.
Some agencies have proven reluctant to use the Small Business Administration‘s contracting programs to the detriment of women-owned, veteran-owned, minority-owned and disadvantaged small businesses in particular.
Lawmakers encouraged President Biden to sign the bill into law, two months after his administration announced a set of procurement reforms designed to meet its target of increasing the number of federal contracts going to small disadvantaged businesses 50% by 2025.
“Small businesses make up the foundation of our economy, and additional hurdles during the federal contracting process can hinder their growth,” Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., a bill sponsor along with Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said in a statement. “I’m proud this bipartisan legislation has passed the House and urge President Biden to sign it into law as soon as possible so that small business owners in Michigan and across the nation can have a chance to provide innovative solutions to problems facing the federal government and the American people and compete on a level playing field to win federal contracts.”
Reps. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., and Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., led the bill in the House.
Additionally, a coalition of groups including the Small Business Majority, Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, GovEvolve, HUBZone Contractors National Council, Women Veterans Business Coalition, and the Montgomery Country Chamber of Commerce have announced support for the legislation.
“Small business participation in the federal marketplace is key to ensuring a strong industrial base, however small businesses find that agencies continue to be reluctant to utilize these programs,” said Michelle Burnett, executive director of the HUBZone Contractors National Council, in a statement. “The PRICE Act provides increased opportunities for HUBZone companies by encouraging the acquisition workforce to share innovative best practices to increase small business participation across the federal government.”